Proofing Gallery • Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 8pm
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Mini Sessions are up to 30 minutes. Session fee is $175 (with a $50 retainer required at the time of booking which will be applied to your balance due the day of your session). Session fee includes editing, online proofing gallery, eight to ten digital downloads, and print release. Ten dollars from every session will be donated to Berea Animal Rescue.
#fallminis #fallminisession #fallportraitsessions #fall #cle #fallfamilyphotography #fallphotography #familyphotography #clevelandphotographer #northeastohiophotographer #fallparksessions
Baby shower invites have begun to arrive for Spring and Summer 2017 babies. There's a lot of power blue invites on my desk these days, it must be something in water. Even if your invitations are a shade of pink or have a purple hue the most popular (anticipated) baby names in America for 2017 are:
#maternityphotographer #maternityphotography #maternity #mommytobe #newmommy #pregnant #pregnancy #expectingmother #expectant #maternityportraits #maternitypictures #motherhood #maternityshoot #babybump #daddytobe #dadtobe #babyiscomingsoon #itsaboy #thebump #cleveland
This is the beginning of anything you want.
Happy New Year! 🎉
I am "sharing" this article as it is loaded with information for families and photographers concerning pictures taken on train tracks. I am extremely passionate about this topic as I grew up around trains and was stearnly warned about safety around trains.
Please read and share.
What??? But I see friends' family, senior and even wedding pictures on the tracks all the time!?!
I get asked several times a year to have portrait sessions on Railroad Tracks. In fact, I have done them a handful times in the past, and they were among some of my most popular images to date. I mean look at these for example. You not only get a great perspective shot, but it is a cute theme that represents you are headed somewhere in your life. A new beginning maybe? But both of these images within this post, could have actually gotten me arrested! This location idea has been extremely popular nationwide, especially for HS Seniors, for several years, but now when I am asked to have a session at one of the many track locations in our area, I say, "no", and here's why.
First of all, it's dangerous. Not just the fact that people twist their ankles or get caught in the rails all the time, but yes, what seems obvious to me, and I'm sure to you as well, is that you don't stand on the tracks to have your picture taken with a train barreling down on you. But here's the problem, most trains do not run on straight, completely visible tracks. There are bends, trees, hills, etc that obstruct the conductors view of you as well as your view and the sound of the train quickly coming your way. In fact, just late last year, a teacher who taught art and photography was struck and killed by a train while taking photos on the tracks.
Roughly every three hours in the U.S., a person or vehicle is hit by a train. -Operation Lifesaver
That's not enough of a reason? How about this? Here are 6 reasons the FRA's "Operation Lifesaver" lists as to why you should never have a Portrait Session on the Train Tracks.
- Trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
- An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train's distance from you - and its speed.
- The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet.
- Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and rights-of-way are private property.
- No tracks should be assumed to be abandoned or inactive.
- People in your community mimic your behavior.
"Well, what about those tracks that aren't being used by trains often or at all?"
Those are called DEAD tracks. And as it states on the FRA's (Federal Railway Association) website, ALL tracks, live or dead, are PRIVATE PROPERTY and you are ILLEGALLY TRESPASSING by doing anything other than legally crossing tracks via a marked roadway, etc.
So you say you are willing to take your chances on a dead track since they are "safe". Then I guess you won't mind taking the risk to you AND your clients of each being fined "up to $10,000, and even possible arrest." So now think again.... is that image really worth the risk?
Lets backtrack (no pun intended)...
If there are so many photos out there of people on the tracks, then they must not be enforcing it, right? Wrong!
Before I knew it was illegal, I actually had a police officer pull up next to me at my last session at the RR tracks, and nicely say, "You know I can not only fine you, but actually take you in for doing that, right?"
WOW! Not only was I surprised, but I WAS LUCKY that he was so nice to me about it. I had no idea! After a short chat with the officer, I started looking into it more online. These property owners actually do call the police when they see trespassers. So you really are taking a big chance, just for an unoriginal, cliche of a portrait that has become no more creative than spot color. (But that's another topic all together.)
"We understand the passion that photographers have for their work; however, they may not realize that using train tracks as a backdrop for portraits of high school seniors, wedding parties, and families is not only dangerous, it is illegal trespassing,”-Operation Lifesaver President Helen M. Sramek
Top priority is safety, true, but as Professional Photographers, I would also think that each and every TRUE PROFESSIONAL should be offering our clients more CREATIVE and ORIGINAL options by now anyway, without the risk of a $10,000 fine and possible arrest to the photographer AND their clients.
So now, the hard part, (or easy, depending on how you look at it.):
Educating not only our potential clients, but also our friends, families, fellow photographers and especially HS seniors, that taking pictures on the tracks is not only terribly dangerous, but also illegal! It's time to think outside the box.
About Operation Lifesaver...
Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. For more information or to request a free safety presentation, visit www.oli.org ;
We also invite you to visit the Federal Railway Association's website at http://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0001
Since posting this article 8 months ago, not only have I received countless comments, questions, emails, facebook messages and over 128,000 views, and thousands of shares. Some of the responses I've received have been positive and grateful, and plenty who, lets just say were not. Awareness is education and education is power.
The most comment question I get asked is this one that I received from a fellow professional photographer in North Carolina just last week....
"... I see these photos online in Facebook, Instagram, Google and Pinterest all the time. I have shared your blog post and information, but not everyone is happy to receive it. They get defensive and claim that they will continue to do it. What is the next step when education isn't working? Is there anything I can do to curb this kind of behavior?"
YES! TAKE ACTION!
Anyone can anonymously REPORT IT and here's how...
- Start by locating your OLI State Coordinator for where the offending photo is from, by going to this page http://oli.org/state_coordinators/ .
- If your state's OLI has a facebook page, then send a private message asking them how they prefer to be notified of a photographer who is shooting on the tracks.
- Send the state coordinator a direct link to the photo's location and any contact information you may have on the photographer or organization using the image. If your state coordinator does not have a Facebook page, then send an email as that should also be listed in the OLI link above. (Some coordinators prefer email, others don't have a preference.)
- OLI will NOT reveal how or who reported the image. They will contact the photographer or organization directly, fully educate them of the dangers, legal issues and how displaying such images encourages this behavior in others, and they may even choose to contact the railway company to let them make the decision on any action they would also like to take.
Prefer to APPROACH & EDUCATE them yourself?
Here are a few links that are easy for you to copy and paste to share with them and help back up your statement and reasons for concern.
- OLI article regarding Photography on Tracks: http://oli.org/news/view/operation-lifesaver-urges-professional-photographers-to-stay-safe-stay-away
- Railroad Safety for Photographers: http://digital-photography-school.com/railroad-safety-photographers
- BNSF Railway Co Targets Photographers: http://mtstandard.com/news/local/railroad-targets-trespassers/article_aff356ea-e8e0-11e1-b5ff-001a4bcf887a.html
- Amtrak's Policy on Photography on Tracks: http://www.amtrak.com/photography-video-recording-policy
- Union Pacific's Policy on Photography on Tracks: http://www.up.com/aboutup/community/safety/safety_policies/photo-video_policy/index.htm
- Pinterest Board of Rail Safety: http://www.pinterest.com/juli_bonell/rail-safety-no-portraits-on-tracks/
- And of course this blog post: http://bonellphotography.blogspot.com/2013/06/train-track-sessions-are-illegal.html
---> Ok... So you think "REPORT IT" sounds bad.
Read my post again, carefully this time... You will see that I am in no way telling people to call the police or federal government on those who shoot on tracks. That would be ridiculous. It is simply a choice between personally educating these people, or have OLI (Operation Lifesaver) educate them. That is what they do. Educate. Nothing more. OLI would make the decision if the individual has done anything extreme enough to warrant any further action.
Thank you, and keep spreading the word!
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Occasionally life introduces us to someone who inspires us to appreciate what we have, and what we don't... Like one of your children diagnosed with cancer.
I recently came across a Facebook page named "Prayers for Kayla". It was Kayla's birthday, the outpouring of love by the page followers made me tear up. Kayla just wants to go to high school, this year she is a Freshman. So young, so courageous, so positive.. Not giving up the fight.
I thought about her mom, as I am a mom and my heart hurt for her. No parent should have to watch their child go through this, ever. I was humbled, the more I read and found out about Kayla and her family. Here, I was frustrated with my screaming toddler and college sophomore decision to over-extend himself once again. In comparison, my frustrations with my life seem insignificant compared to Kayla's mom. I hugged my children more than ever as a result, knowing that while raising children can and is challenging at times, they are the biggest part of my heart existing outside of my body.
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. I want Kayla, her little sister, and her mom to have a wonderful holiday season. I don't want her mom to worry about putting food on the table for Thanksgiving, or putting gifts under the Christmas tree because of medical bills, or the inability to work so she can be with Kayla.
Photography by Studio Eleven will donate $50 to Kayla's mom for each Yellow Ribbon Mini Session that occurs in the month of September. There are three dates available, each with sessions every 30 minutes, starting at 9am and ending at 5pm. That's 16 sessions for each 3 days... That's $2400. I challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity by booking online now: http://photobystudioeleven.studio-booking.com/booking/minisessions/
To follow Kayla's journey and give support, find Prayers for Kayla on Facebook:
Post a screen shot of you votes to be entered into a raffle held on August 10th!
“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
Henry W. Beecher
This session inspired a great deal of thought about family, marriage, and love. The new parents came in with their gorgeous little girl for a family session and immediately I could tell how much they cherished not only the little girl asleep in her car seat, but each other.
Most new parents, even with a sleeping baby are stressed about having their pictures taken. I am guilty of being a momzilla (maybe from time-to-time... Ok. A lot!) when something important is planned. This of course makes everyone else in my home cringe (I'm sure) because, as many women know it it no easy task to coordinate a household let alone coordinating clothing, colors, and everything else that goes into portrait session.
The beautiful little family walked in with ease and it set the pace for the session. The father clearly adores the two ladies in his life, and it could not have been more apparent that this little girl will grown up in a home filled with love.
As a small business, with a focus on providing excellent client service I have selected organizations which believe in the same level of service to their existing and new clientele. It's extremely important to me and my brand to be unique, and partner with small businesses that parallel my values.
One such organization and lifelong friend is Nicole Deliberato-Dursa who is currently competing to become an official Republican National Convention florist. Many wishes to her and the dedicated staff at Independence Floral and Gifts.
Read the full story here!
#growcle #thisiscle #smallbusiness
This little sweet pea came in for a #smashandsplash session! We played with frosting on her custom cake from #threegirlscupcakeshoppe and then... Splashed in the perfect tub with lots of bubbles!
Yep. The struggle is real today. My home feels like a toy store relocated their overstock in my livingroom only to have a toynado distroy any attempts to straighten, organize, or just make it seem less of an eyesore. I love my toddler even though she has been a tyrant lately! Ah yes, getting back to the topic at hand... "Push Myself" I am constantly on the fence, do I just clean up the mess which would be easier and quicker? Do I continue to try to teach her to pick up her toys, (which is a push) when I could just put myself out of my misery and do it without fighting with her... It boils down to a grown woman who still operates on 'ID' (S. Freud) as I lack patience in that regard.
I could just leave it... Resistance is futile when it comes to a toddler. #shesthehappiesttoddlerontheblock #shespoiled #daddylastnameshouldbeschwartz #toydonationisinthefuture
Day 5 - #CY365 It is alway great to see talent recognized and awarded amongst professionals. I happened to get this month's copy of #PPA Professional Photographer where they announced the Diamond Photographers of the year. Every single photographer presented in the article displayed amazing work on DSLR and Medium-Format (what I learned on), various subject matter, and of course; the editing software used in workflow. All are sources of inspiration for me, as I enjoy learning... It makes me happy!
If you surround yourself with those whom have little faith, don't believe in themselves, are perpetually negative... They will inhibit your success, your drive to pursue a life filled with happiness. Misery loves company, it's not cliche; it's the truth. People who generally care will lift you up, support you, and inspire you. In the past few years, the list of people with whom I associate myself has been trimmed. I don't have time to indulge the misery that comes with negative people, my time is too precious. I have an advisory board filled with amazing people who I can bounce ideas off of, and get constructive criticism from. They are all either business owners, web developers, marketing executives, accountants, and photographers like me! It is AWESOME to learn from them, and I am blessed to have them in the journey.
#CY365 Despite my love for all things photography, I prefer to be behind the lens not in front of it. For the sake of this blog, I took a selfie and then was photobombed by my daughter. I followed her lead and made a funny face. It's amazing that we spend so much time trying teach our children when they offer reminders about what is truly important in life... Memories. Family. Happiness. 💗